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2015-09-28    来源:新东方    【      托福雅思口语高分过

Saudi Arabia and the United States
沙特跟老美
Awkward relations
别扭扭
The American president and the Saudi king will have an unusually edgy meeting
美国总统与沙特国王将展开一次绝无仅有的紧张会谈

BARACK OBAMA may recall a tricky moment when he first met King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia five years ago. Bending to shake hands with the octogenarian monarch, the taller American appeared to bow deeply. Republican snipers in America gleefully blasted the president for “kowtowing” to rich Arabs. Such protocols should run more smoothly when Mr Obama heads to Saudi Arabia on March 28th for his second time in office. Unfortunately, however, relations between the two countries have seldom been more awkward.
巴拉克•奥巴马可能会想起5年前一个颇为微妙的一幕,时值他与沙特国王阿卜杜拉首次会晤。尽管比阿卜杜拉高,奥巴马还是深深地弯腰与这位年过八旬的君主握手。国内眼尖的共和党人很愉悦的指责奥巴马向阿拉伯富豪“磕头”。二次执政,奥巴马会把这样的外交礼仪在28日会见沙特国王时做的更自然,但不幸的是,两国关系几乎没有像现在这般别扭过。

Their close alliance dates to the end of the second world war, when an ailing Franklin Roosevelt met Saudi Arabia's founding king, Abdul Aziz, aboard the cruiser Quincy in the Suez Canal. Then, and for decades after, the equation was simple: America would provide security, the Saudis oil. Those shared interests, cemented by a mutual loathing of communism (and a more recently shared hatred of Iran's Shia theocracy and of al-Qaeda terrorists), papered over inevitable differences between a hermetic autocracy, backed by fearsomely puritanical Wahhabist clerics, and an ebullient, proselytising democracy.
亲密的美沙联盟关系还得追溯到二战结束,罗斯福带病与现代沙特的建国者阿齐兹在苏伊士运河的巡航舰Quincy号上会见。自那之后的几十年,等价交换显而易见:美国保证沙特国防安全,沙特给美供油。那些因彼此都不满于社会主义(如今则是对伊朗什叶派政权和基地恐怖分子更为强烈的仇恨)而紧密联系在一起的共同利益掩盖了彼此之间的不可避免差异:一个是封闭的专制国家,由胆小而具有清教特色的瓦哈比教派牧师所支持,一个是热情奔放,令人改变信仰的民主国家。

Such differences have inexorably widened since the end of the cold war, a process that has accelerated since Mr Obama took office. The reasons are not hard to find. For a start, surging oil production at home has sharply lessened America's dependence on Saudi oil, even as Mr Obama's determination to extract American forces from such quagmires as Iraq and Afghanistan has been reducing the American bootprint in the region.
两国间那些不可避免的分歧于冷战结束后扩大,又自奥巴马执政以来加快。原因很简单。首先,美国石油自产量的飙升缓和了对沙特石油的依赖性。尽管奥巴马关于从伊拉克,阿富汗撤军的决定减少了美在中东地区的脚印。

At the same time America's pursuit, with its European allies, of a nuclear deal with Iran has exposed underlying differences. America sees the problem primarily as one of nuclear proliferation and secondarily as a threat to Israel. The Saudis instead fear Iran as a subversive regional rival, geopolitically in unstable countries such as Iraq and Syria, and ideologically as a Shia power challenging the Saudis' fundamentalist Sunni creed. Despite the slowness of progress in nuclear talks and the legacy of deep mistrust between America and Iran, Saudi officials openly fret that America could “sell them out” for the lure of an historic rapprochement with a power they see as intrinsically hostile.
同时,美国及其欧洲盟友寻求与伊朗进行核商谈的愿望也暴露了潜在的分歧。在美国看来,伊朗问题首先属于核扩散问题。其次,威胁到了以色列。而沙特担心的是,从地缘政治角度来看,伊朗会是中东地区发生的又一政权颠覆(推翻的是像阿卜杜拉这样的独裁者),就像之前动荡不安的伊拉克和叙利亚。从意识形态来看,什叶派的权力威胁到了沙特信奉正统基督教的逊尼派。虽然美伊之间的核对话进展缓慢,彼此的互不信任也由来已久,沙特官员还是公开表示了他们的焦虑,担心美国会为了与强权间的历史性和解这一诱惑而“卖了他们”,尽管沙特人生而仇恨这一强权。
Other differences, too, are brewing. Unable now to rely so much on American might, the kingdom's rulers have taken to a more aggressive pursuit of their own regional interests. Widely cheered in the West, the outbreak of the Arab spring in 2011 was viewed with dismay and alarm in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. With scarcely a nod to the White House, Saudi troops intervened in the neighbouring statelet of Bahrain to rescue its king from a pro-democracy uprising by his majority-Shia subjects. While America welcomed the election of the Muslim Brotherhood's Muhammad Morsi as president of Egypt as a step towards democracy, the Saudis viewed it as a power grab by an Islamist cult, financed by another impertinent neighbour, Qatar, whose noisy Al Jazeera satellite TV channel has long disturbed the royal Saudis' sleep. In recent weeks Saudi Arabia has dismayed America, which has long urged greater co-operation between Iran's Arab neighbours, by pulling its ambassador out of Qatar.
其他方面的分歧也在慢慢酝酿中。沙特无法像以往一样依赖美国,国王便采取了更为激进的方式来寻求自身利益。11年阿拉伯之春爆发,西方国家广而叫好,而沙特首都利雅得却不得不沮丧地视之为警告。沙特军队加入小邻居巴林岛,从多数什叶派组织支持民主的起义中救出其君主,可见沙特几乎不向白宫点头表示赞同。美方支持兄弟会的穆尔西当选埃及总统,以此作为向民主的迈进,而沙特将其当做是伊斯兰狂热份子夺权,并由另一个鲁莽的邻居卡塔尔出资援助。卡塔尔的Al Jazeera卫星电视频道一直吵到沙特王室的好眠。最近几周,沙特一直让美国不好受,因为美方将沙特大使逐出卡塔尔,以求与伊朗的阿拉伯邻居间更为紧密的合作。

The Saudi rulers see the Brotherhood, with its cells inside the kingdom itself and powerful fellow-travellers in countries such as Turkey and Tunisia, as a threat from within Sunni Islam. Small wonder that they have strongly backed its foes, from the Egyptian generals who overthrew Mr Morsi last year, to Syrian rebel factions that have quietly sidelined the once dominant Brothers from Syria's exiled opposition. Bruce Riedel, an American counter-terror expert, quotes Saudi officials as saying that the kingdom spent $25 billion subsidising such allies as Jordan, Pakistan and Bahrain in 2012, and expects to spend more, now that Egypt has become a prime recipient of such largesse.
沙特统治者将兄弟会,及其在沙特境内的政治组织和一些处在土耳其、突尼斯等国强大的同路人视为伊斯兰逊尼派的一大威胁。难怪他们极力支持了兄弟会的敌对方,不管是去年帮助埃及军方推翻穆尔西,还是为叙利亚反派组织出力,不动声色地将曾经主宰一方的兄弟会从叙利亚流亡的反对派中逐出。美国反暴行专家布鲁斯•里德尔引用沙特官方的话说,沙特王国于2012年耗费250亿美元让约旦,巴基斯坦以及巴林岛等国平息下来,既然埃及已经成为这类援助的首要接受者,沙特将投入更多。

Much of this aid does not necessarily flout America's wishes but, even where interests coincide, friction can arise. Such as in Syria, where joint Saudi-CIA plans to supply anti-government rebels have consistently stumbled against what Saudi operatives view as quibbling American qualms. The halting nature of such supplies, the Saudis complain, has emboldened Islamist extremists who have more regular sources of funding and weapons and weakened the American-backed political opposition. Last August, when Syria's president, Bashar Assad, was caught red-handed gassing his own people in their hundreds, the Saudis saw a golden opportunity to strike hard. Mr Obama instead shrank back, apparently satisfied with the narrower aim of eliminating Mr Assad's chemical weapons.
这类帮助并不特意藐视美国的期望,但只要沙特与别国利益一致,与美的摩擦就会产生。例如在叙利亚,沙特与中情局联盟给反政方提供援助这一计划就一致给沙特佣兵眼中的美国刺儿刺儿的不安再添堵。沙方抱怨这样犹豫不决的援助助长了拥有更常规资金和武器资源的伊斯兰极端分子的勇气,也削弱了美方支持的政治反对派。去年8月,叙利亚总统巴沙尔•阿萨德被发现手染鲜血以毒气处理数以百计的国人,沙特看到了一个绝妙的机会来进行更有力的打击。而相比之下,奥巴马退缩了,明显满意于消除阿萨德化武的小小目标。

Despite this growing list of grievances on both sides, the two countries need each other. America retains a strong military presence in the Gulf, and cannot be replaced as the ultimate guarantor of Saudi security in the foreseeable future. In the midst of turmoil across the region, and with the threat of jihadist terrorism ever-present, America still relies heavily on the Saudis as the leading local policeman.
尽管美沙双方的怨气都不断增加,但还是需要对方。美国在海湾驻留一支强大的军队,在可预见的一段时间里也不可能变为沙特安全最终的保障者。在暴乱在中东地区蔓延过程中,面对长期的圣战恐怖主义,美国还是很依赖沙特作为当地主要的警察。

And the countries have other things in common, not all of them helpful. Decision-making in both Riyadh and Washington has grown increasingly erratic, even dysfunctional, albeit for different reasons. Saudi Arabia's senior rulers are old and weary, and prone to factional rivalry as younger princes jostle for power in the inevitable succession to the king, who is thought to be at least 89. Mr Obama's administration, meanwhile, has been shackled by an unusually obstreperous legislature. He will not even be greeted in Riyadh by an American ambassador. He nominated one in November, but Congress has refused so far to confirm his appointment.
此外,这两个国家还有其他的共同点,尽管不全都有用。在利雅得和华盛顿,做出的决议越来越无常,甚至有点决策机能失常,虽然造成这一现象的原因有很多。沙特的高层管理者年事已高,显得有些疲惫,也很容易发生派系斗争因为年轻的王子们在不可避免的进行王位争夺,据说国王至少89岁了。同时,奥巴马也被异常失控的立法机关束缚住。他在利雅得甚至不会受到美国大使的接待。奥巴马在去年11月任命了一位大使,但遭到国会拒绝,如今都没能上任。

1.appear to 似乎;好像
例句:By all accounts, Rodger would appear to be afine fellow.
据说,罗杰是个好小伙。

2.head to 引至,通到
例句:I let the horse drop his head to crop the springgrass.
我让马低下头啃吃春天的青草。

3.depend on 依赖;依靠
例句:They depend on the goodwill of visitors to pick up rubbish.
他们相信游客会自觉捡起垃圾。

4.such as 例如;譬如
例句:Issues such as these were not really his concern.
他其实并不关心诸如此类的问题。



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